Sen. Tester on value of training skilled workers

By: 
Sen. Jon Tester
Montana U.S. Senator

Across Montana, and right here in Yellowstone County, there are many folks who would rather work with their hands than sit at a desk all day. I know that’s the case because I’m one of them.
As a farmer, I’ve spent long days in the field and in my shop changing oil, tuning up vehicles, and repairing equipment. Folks who know how to do these things can make a good living.
But as Montana’s economy continues to expand, business owners and manufacturers keep telling me that we haven’t trained enough workers with the skillset to meet the growing demand of building, construction, and manufacturing jobs across our state.
That is why I am partnering with Montana workers, educators, and employers to identify the challenges and opportunities facing Montana’s blue collar industries by launching my Blue Collar Jobs Tour.
If someone in Laurel or Billings wants to get a good-paying job as a mechanic, welder, plumber or electrician, it is critical that they have access to a roadmap to get the training and certifications they need to enter these growing job markets here at home.
A traditional four-year degree isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. It is critical that Montanans who graduate from high school and want ​to get right to work have the tools and training to do so.
In order to meet these needs, I am working to increase the capacity at our two-year colleges to better connect well-trained workers to meet the needs of Montana companies who are powering our economy. I am pushing to expand job training programs and apprenticeships with the private sector, as well as connect folks with labor unions and their training programs. 
By building a strong pipeline of workers from our schools to the workforce, we can connect welders, electricians, plumbers, builders, and sheet rockers with good jobs that pay a livable wage.
As your Senator I will continue to fight hard to tear down the barriers and create more opportunities for these workers to make good wages and raise their families here in Montana.

Jon Tester is a third generation Montana farmer from Big Sandy and Montana’s senior U.S. Senator.

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